Brid move one step closer to the double

Bridlington 43 York 7

Bridlington 43 York 7

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On paper, it was Bridlington’s biggest obstacle as they chased a league and Yorkshire Shield double.

But their quarter-final tie against York proved to be easier than they had imagined, as they cruised to a 43-7 win over the side who are third in Yorkshire One.

Bridlington 43 York 7

Bridlington 43 York 7

Brid are the highest-ranked side left in the competition, and will face Pontefract, from the league below, in the semi-finals.

Head coach Paul Cook said: “The Shield has always been of secondary importance compared to the league, but now we are in the semi-finals, winning it would be a nice bonus.”

Bridlington go to Pontefract on March 18 for their semi-final, but Cook is aware that the hosts will be sensing a cup upset.

“They are third in their division, so they will be up for it, especially at home.

Bridlington 43 York 7

Bridlington 43 York 7

“They will have nothing to lose and we will have to perform, keep the ball when we have it and defend well.”

Pontefract have only lost twice at home in the Yorkshire Two this season and beat Wetherby 31-14 in the quarter-finals on Saturday.

Middlesbrough take on Wath-upon-Dearne in the other last-four tie.

“The Shield can be a lottery and we have had tough draws against Heath and York so far, and they are among the toughest opponents.”

Bridlington 43 York 7

Bridlington 43 York 7

A devastating first-half display sent Yorkshire One leaders Bridlington on their way to the semi-finals of the Yorkshire Shield.

They led York, one of only two teams to beat them in the league this season, 33-0 at the break, and added a couple of extra tries in the second period to wrap up a comfortable 43-7 success.

Head coach Paul Cook was back in charge, after being on holiday for the previous two matches.

He said: “We played really well.

“We started strongly and had put them out of the game after half-an-hour.

“We had got three tries early on and we were 33-0 ahead at half-time.

“We defended as well as usual and when we had the ball, we really opened them up and played very well.

“We missed a few chances in the second half or we could have had three or four more tries.”

Bridlington crossed the line seven times, with Martin Robinson and Matiu Welch scoring twice and Gareth Roberts, Gary Stevens and Paddy Waines adding to the tally.

Roberts and Welch sharedfour conversions.

Bridlington return to league action when bottom-of-the-table Acklam visit Dukes Park on Saturday.

Cook’s men need three wins from their last six games to guarantee the Yorkshire One title.

He said: “We are not home and dry yet in the league and we can’t take our eyes off the ball.

“There are still tough away games to come at Bradford Salem and Old Brodleians.”

The coach admitted he expected his squad to be in the top three but being 15 points clear at the top has surprised him.

“I knew we had a very good shout in the league.

“I thought we would be one of the two or three strongest teams.

“But we have gone beyond my expectations.

“We have a large squad which helps with the injuries during winter and with two or three tweaks and additions, I think we can compete at the level above.”

Saturday’s clash with Acklam kicks off at 3pm.